Previous
Getafe
Valencia
0
3
FT
Game Details
Wigan Athletic
Ipswich Town
1
2
FT
Game Details
Academica de Coimbra
Estoril
2
2
FT
Game Details
Real Madrid
Elche
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Celta Vigo
Deportivo La Coruña
8:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Bayern Munich
SC Paderborn 07
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Eintracht Frankfurt
Mainz
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
TSG Hoffenheim
SC Freiburg
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Werder Bremen
Schalke 04
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Empoli
AC Milan
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Stade de Reims
Marseille
5:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Stade Rennes
Toulouse
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Arsenal
Southampton
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Cardiff City
AFC Bournemouth
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Derby County
Reading
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Leyton Orient
Sheffield United
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Liverpool
Middlesbrough
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Milton Keynes Dons
Bradford City
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Shrewsbury Town
Norwich City
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Sunderland
Stoke City
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Swansea City
Everton
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Fulham
Doncaster Rovers
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Newport County
Swindon Town
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Aberdeen
Livingston
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Falkirk
Rangers
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Kilmarnock
St Johnstone
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Partick Thistle
St Mirren
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Ross County
Hibernian
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Clyde
Montrose
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Brescia
Lanciano
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Cittadella
Pro Vercelli
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Crotone
Catania
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Frosinone
US Avellino
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Livorno
Varese
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Modena
Perugia
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Ternana
Bologna
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Trapani
Virtus Entella
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
US Pescara
Latina
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Vicenza
Bari
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
FC Ingolstadt 04
FC Erzgebirge Aue
3:30 PM GMT
Game Details
SpVgg Greuther Furth
VfR Aalen
3:30 PM GMT
Game Details
St Pauli
TSV Eintracht Braunschweig
3:30 PM GMT
Game Details
SV Sandhausen
TSV 1860 Munich
3:30 PM GMT
Game Details
AC Ajaccio
Le Havre AC
6:55 PM GMT
Game Details
Angers
AJ Auxerre
6:55 PM GMT
Game Details
Arles
Stade Laval
6:55 PM GMT
Game Details
AS Nancy Lorraine
Tours
6:55 PM GMT
Game Details
Dijon FCO
Créteil
6:55 PM GMT
Game Details
Nimes
Chateauroux
6:55 PM GMT
Game Details
Orléans
Ajaccio GFCO
6:55 PM GMT
Game Details
Sochaux
Brest
6:55 PM GMT
Game Details
Troyes
Niort
6:55 PM GMT
Game Details
Capelle
FC Volendam
3:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Rijnsburgse Boys
Sparta Rotterdam
3:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Scheveningen
Lisse
3:00 PM GMT
Game Details
VVSB
Vitesse Arnhem
3:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Spakenburg
NAC Breda
4:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Achilles '29
Twente Enschede
Postp
Game Details
Ajax Amateurs
NEC Nijmegen
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Almere City
ADO Den Haag
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Deltasport
Willem II Tilburg
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Exelsior Maassluis
FC Emmen
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Flevo Boys
DOS '37
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
HHC Hardenberg
RKC Waalwijk
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Kozakken Boys
Sportlust '46
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
ONS Sneek
Dordrecht '90
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
PSV Eindhoven
FC Utrecht
Postp
Game Details
VVV Venlo
FC Eindhoven
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Roda JC Kerkrade
Heerenveen
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Sporting Kansas City
Real Estelí
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Portland Timbers
Alpha United
2:00 AM GMT
Game Details
César Vallejo
Universitario de Sucre
10:00 PM GMT
Leg 2Aggregate: 2 - 2
Game Details
Cerro Porteño
Independiente del Valle
12:15 AM GMT
Leg 2Aggregate: 0 - 0
Game Details
San Martín de San Juan
Argentinos Juniors
11:10 PM GMT
Game Details
Atlante
Mérida
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Correcaminos
At. San Luis
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Lobos BUAP
Oaxaca
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Mineros de Zacatecas
Dorados de Sinaloa
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Santos
Monterrey
2:00 AM GMT
Game Details
U.A.N.L
Queretaro
2:00 AM GMT
Game Details
UNAM
Toluca
2:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Veracruz
Chiapas
2:00 AM GMT
Game Details
ABC
Goianiense
10:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Boa MG
Luverdense
10:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Bragantino
Icasa
10:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Joinville
América Mineiro
10:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Paraná Clube
Avaí
10:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Vila Nova-GO
AA Ponte Preta
10:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Ceará
América RN
12:50 AM GMT
Game Details
Portuguesa de Desportos
Náutico
12:50 AM GMT
Game Details
Sampaio Correa-MA
CR Vasco da Gama
12:50 AM GMT
Game Details
Santa Cruz FC
Oeste
12:50 AM GMT
Game Details
Vantforet Kofu
Vissel Kobe
9:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Cerezo Osaka
Nagoya Grampus Eight
10:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Kashiwa Reysol
Sagan Tosu
10:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Rangers de Talca
Palestino
9:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Universidad de Concepción
Colo Colo
9:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Next

Canales: Liga MX Best XI

Liga MX 10 hours ago
Read

Roma spoil Zdenek Zeman's homecoming

Roma 8 hours ago
Read
Dec 23, 2012

Clark revelling in Villa challenges

Festive cheer has been in plentiful supply at Aston Villa in recent days and central defender Ciaran Clark has more than most to toast this Christmas.

• Blog: World waking up to Benteke

At the age of 23, Clark will reach the turn of the year as a Premier League regular and the prospect of a flourishing international career with the Republic of Ireland enhanced as a result.

Clark's status as a leading figure in Paul Lambert's emerging Villa side has been confirmed by the manager's decision to hand him the captain's armband in the last couple of games and while he may lack the experience to hold that position permanently right now, there is little doubt that he is becoming a leader of considerable clout.

Villa's prolific academy set-up has produced a glut of sparkling talent that is serving the first team well in Lambert's first year as the club's manager and Clark has the potential to be the classiest performer of a rich crop.

Hugely impressive as he played a leading role in nullifying the threat posed by Liverpool's Luis Suarez in the 3-1 win against Liverpool last weekend, Clark gets his chance to add another notch to his reputation as he locks horns with Chelsea's Fernando Torres on Sunday, with fear not an emotion he feels when mixing it with the game's elite.

"I love playing against the best players in the world and Suarez one week and Torres the next is fine by me," Clark told ESPN. "Torres is starting to find his form again now and he is always a threat, but they have so many brilliant players at Chelsea we will need to keep an eye on.

"Villa have done well at Chelsea in the last few years. We won 3-1 down there last season and picked up a 3-3 draw the year before and we go there feeling confident after the win at Liverpool last weekend.

"We have given a good account of ourselves against most of the top teams so far, so hopefully that continues at Stamford Bridge. Let's see if we can continue our form against another top side."

The transformation in mood among the Villa squad in recent weeks bodes well for the club's short and long-term future, with Lambert's decision to build a team around young, hungry players made at the expense of senior figures such as Shay Given, Richard Dunne, Stephen Ireland, Charles N'Zogbia and Darren Bent.

With a clutch of star names condemned to the sidelines, those replacing them are embracing the responsibility handed to them by a manager who should get total commitment in return for the faith he has shown in them.

A maiden Wembley cup final is the reward now dangling before them, with League Two giant killers Bradford City all that stand between Villa and a place in the Capital One Cup decider.

Clark admits he is relishing his role as the front man of Lambert's youthful Villa revolution.

"The idea of being Villa captain was never on my agenda at the start of this season," he said. "I just wanted to try and impress the new manager and play as many games as possible, so it has gone better for me than I could have imagined.

"I certainly didn't expect to be captain by Christmas, that's for sure. That said, I've captained virtually every team I've played for in my career so far, through the youth ranks and now through to the Villa first team and I enjoy the role. I don't know why I always seem to get the captain's armband, but it has happened like that in my career.

"I'm a quiet lad off the pitch and don't like to shout at people, but I cross that white line and something changes in me. I enjoy the chance to pass out information to team-mates and try to get everyone pulling for each other."

Clark's Premier League progress must have nudged him up the Ireland pecking order, with Giovanni Trappattoni surely impressed by his committed display when handed a starting spot in the friendly international against Greece last month.

His performance was notable for a robust challenge that riled members of the visiting Greek team and his feistiness hit the headlines again earlier this month as his whole hearted tackle on Ireland team-mate and Stoke midfielder Glenn Whelan riled Potters boss Tony Pulis.

Firm but fair is how Clark would sum up his attitude in the tackle as he makes no excuses for challenges that could easily have resulted in red cards in the eyes of some match officials.

"I never pull out of a challenge, but the physical side of the game is creeping out," he said. "Without being stupid or over the top, the art of tackling has to remain as a feature of the game, but you seem to get pulled up for minor offences these days.

"There were some comments from the Stoke manager about one of my tackles a couple of weeks back, but I don't think I did anything wrong. I might have caught their player a bit, but I was going for the ball and the manager never said anything to me about it afterwards.

"We went into the Stoke game determined not to be bullied. They might have thought they could get the upper hand on us as we are a young side, but we were determined to give as good as we got. In the end, we got a clean sheet, so it was job done from our point of view.

"Just because we are young players proving our worth in the Premier League, it doesn't mean we cannot stand up to the players we are up against every week. We are in a League Cup semi-final and on a decent run in the league, so we must be doing something right."

The Villa team Lambert will send into battle at Stamford Bridge is likely to have cost a third of the £50m Chelsea paid to sign Torres last January, yet their rising confidence leads Clark and his young team-mates to believe they can continue to produce miracles in the Premier League.

Comments

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.